If you are out and about in Wynn Vale on a Saturday morning, you might see a large group of people congregating near the Jubilee Community House. Part of the global parkrun initiative, the Jubilee Way parkrun is just one of 335 runs taking place across Australia every Saturday morning.
Wynn Vale Dam from the Parkrun trail. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
The undulating 5km course travels along the creek towards the Wynn Vale Dam, beginning with a steady incline that challenges the legs and at times makes you wonder why you decided to get out of bed so early. Soon, the trail becomes flat again and turns away from the concrete path to begin the lap around the dam. The gravel section of this trail passes by the ibis who gather in the dam near the fountain and several horses who stand by the fence, clearly wondering why everyone is hurrying past and not stopping to pat them. Koalas are frequent spectators to the weekly event, comfortably nestled in one of the many tall old gum trees that line the trail.
A family of ducks watch the runners. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
Passing the group of ducks who congregate near the dam, runners and walkers travel along the wide gravel paths that pass the Wynn Vale Community Garden before turning to follow the other side of the creek to the turnaround point at the 2.5km mark, near the bridge on Grenfell Road. The yellow and orange tones of the nasturtium flowers scattered among the wide variety of plants and flowers that live along the creek provide a colourful backdrop to the scenic trail. A variety of birds call the Wynn Vale Dam area home, with lorikeets and galahs often seen in the trees and on occasion, the mocking laugh from kookaburras can be heard, making participants all the more determined to finish the run.
Walk or un, it's up to you. Photo: Jubilee Way Park Run
With the first half completed, the trail maintains a gradual incline on the second half of the out and back track until turning back towards the dam before returning to the concrete path toward the final stretch home. It's mostly all downhill on the way to the finish line, where the timekeeper will clock your time, congratulate you on finishing and give you the all-important token to log your time which will be emailed to you later in the day, so you can monitor your improvement from week to week.
Organised by volunteers, the run is a friendly and welcoming community event. Every week dedicated volunteers act as timekeepers, marshals, organisers, photographers and tail walkers to make sure everyone has an enjoyable and safe event. Milestones are celebrated before every event, marking 10 run milestones for children and 50 and 100 milestones for adults. There is always a special welcome extended to all those who visit from other park runs from across the country and from overseas.
With park runs commencing in Australia in the Gold Coast in 2011, the Jubilee Way parkrun is still a relatively new event, having commenced on 19 May 2018. Sponsored by by Medibank, the Athlete's Foot, the Tea Tree Gully Council and Barista in the Sun, the event is free to enter and open to everyone, all you need to do is register a parkrun.com.au and print off the barcode to record your time and then you can be part of the fun. If you don't want to walk or run, you could always volunteer to assist in the event.
After your workout, don't forget to purchase a coffee from the Barista in the Sun, you'll find them in the Community Centre car park.
The trail loops around the Wynn Vale Dam. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
If you love to walk or run or want to improve your fitness, the Jubilee Way parkrun is a great way to get outdoors and feel part of a team. It doesn't matter where you finish, it's just you against the clock aiming for a personal best!